- A hospital in Camden, New Jersey, accidentally transplanted a kidney into the wrong patient.
- Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital said the patient who got the kidney had the same name and was of a “similar age” to the woman who was actually supposed to get the transplant.
- Both patients were on the waiting list, but the intended recipient was higher on the list than the patient who accidentally got it during surgery.
- The hospital said it realized the day after the operation and reported the mistake, and that both patients now have new kidneys and are doing well.
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A hospital in New Jersey said it accidentally transplanted a kidney into the wrong patient because she had the same name as someone else on the organ waiting list.
The mistaken operation took place on November 18 in Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, southwest New Jersey, local news site NJ.com reported.
A hospital staff member realized that the kidney had gone in to the wrong patient the next day, NJ.com reported.
The person who received the kidney was also on the hospital’s transplant waiting list, but had the same name and was a “similar age” to the 51-year-old patient who was higher on the list and supposed to receive the kidney first, the hospital told NJ.com. The two patients’ names were not made public.
According to CNN, the staff member realized that the patient “was inadvertently transplanted out of priority order.”
The patient who was supposed to receive the kidney was given a new one six days later, and both patients are now doing well, CNN added.
Virtua told both outlets that it has reported the mistake the to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the New Jersey Department of Health, and is investigating its procedures.
Reginald Blaber, the executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Virtua Health, the group that runs the hospital, said: “Mistakes of this magnitude are rare, and despite the unusual circumstances of similar patient identities, additional verification would have prevented this error,” CNN reported.
“We have a profound responsibility to people who literally place their lives in our hands,” he said. “This is an unprecedented event in our respected 40-plus-year transplant program.”
“As an organization committed to safety and process, we immediately instituted additional measures and educational reinforcement to help ensure this does not happen again.”
The hospital describes itself as the “only facility in southern New Jersey performing kidney, liver and pancreas transplants, and that it has been doing organ transplants since 1974.